More on what to do if you’re not losing weight – five things to consider

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More on what to do if you’re not losing weight – five things to consider

This topic contains 184 replies, has 92 voices, and was last updated by  annette52 8 years, 1 month ago.

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  • Like Dido, I’m not counting calories on my feed days either and am eating healthier. I am confident I will lose all my weight doing this…and I’m going to enjoy the journey! I can’t wait until the new forum starts up, and it’s so great to hear everyone’s inspiring stories. For me, I’ll take slow weight loss over quick, huge losses any day. It’s healthier and you don’t end up looking gaunt and saggy. Viva la 5:2!

    My husband has just started fastdiet, and is concerned that as he is 65, and not as active as he was, he should reduce calory intake further? I don’t think this is a great idea, he still does a lot of work in the garden and swims every day from June til Sept.

    Liz, my husband is 63. He is doing 5:2 and eats the 600 calories per day (only 2 days a week). He is losing. He lost 8 lbs. the first month, 1/2 lb. more than me (oh the competition!)…seriously though, do you have the Fastdiet book? I would follow what the book says…500 cals for women…600 for men. Oh, my husband is not very active either and he still lost.

    Thanks shiningmoogie you have certainly made me think and after years of yo yo dieting and restricting all my favoruite foods i may just be going alittle nuts on my feed days just because i think its ok thanks for the advice i will be keeping a closer eye on my calories on feed days

    @coffeeheaven I enjoyed the idea of you in competition with your husband. perhaps we should start a men v women weight loss thread. I know a lot of couples who do this diet and, on the whole, the men are the competitive ones. Good luck to both of you. Michael

    Hi all ! Have you noticed Mr Zhao Liping.. He also has very interesting information of losing weight.. I personally think, this 5:2 is getting easier after the first month.. – 2,1 kg

    Actually macbeth there have been a number of studies of the 5:2 method, the largest by Dr Michelle Harvie and Professor Tony Howell in Manchester. The most recent, published this month in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that people who did 2 days of intermittent fasting lost nearly twice as much fat and were nearly twice as likely to stick to their diet as those doing following the standard approach

    I must admit to being astonished and delighted that so many people find doing this approach so helpful

    Yes! A comeptition between the gals and guys would be fun!

    Thanks for mentioning that study Dr. Mosley. I can’t get enough of the science!

    @coffeeheaven, Thanks, yes have got the book. Going well so far,despite lack of wine on fast days and less other days too, living in France it is not easy!

    Liz, ah yes, I’ll bet your wines are absolutely lovely. At least you don’t have to count every last calorie while you’re drinking it…on feed days that is!

    I have noticed that giving up most bread and pretty much all cheese on my feed days has helped my program. I love bread and am sure I consume too much of it. Since I have trouble with moderation I’m better to just leave it alone and go for the greens.

    By the way US readers, Amazon has delayed the release of the recipe book until July. And I am so anxious to get it!

    Katrina, I’m in California, and I noticed that as well. The title cover looks different too! Oh well, I guess they’re still working on the release…The thought crossed my mind to just order the UK edition, but our cooking measurements are so different.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but it has CHANGED MY LIFE and in Australia we haven’t even sen the program yet!
    I live in Hobart, 62 years old, 90.8kg on 22/1/13. 14 weeks later 80.7, cholesterol dropped from 7.2 to 5.9; triglycerides from 3.2 to 0.8, BMI 34.8 to 30.1 (still a way to go). I now swim 3.5km 5 days a week, and my 2 fast days are total (water only). And I still cook dinner for my husband on fast days. On the days I swim at 7am I don’t eat breakfast (or I can’t swim). AND I feel great.Cooking his dinner has made me realise that I am not hungry, just need something to do! Thank you Michael

    I find the diet very easy to follow and I am seeing good results but my bile reflux symptoms have worsened and I am suffering from fairly persistent diarrhoea. Has anyone else experienced these problems and in the long run am I doing myself more harm than good?

    Vicki, it seems like you have more energy. I’ve experienced that as well. It’s so good to talk with folks who are eating this way. So far the only folks I really know who are on 5:2 is my husband! I shared the info with a friend and she might start it. But I’m not pushing her; everyone has to find their own way.

    @vicki Wow those are impressive results! Not just the weight loss but the impact on your lipids is great news. Impressive to drop cholesterol from 7.2 to 5.9; triglycerides from 3.2 to 0.8, BMI 34.8 to 30.1. Well done Vicki, keep it up. I am so pleased it is working for you.

    Here in Finland doctors warn: sugar addiction for national chronic .. I think 5/2 out for circumstances in the days of fasting will break the cycle of sugar .. For me, it was really hard at first, but after a month I no longer need sweets, even if they are at home.

    Dr. Mosley, as I remember from your Documentary, the main thrust of this diet was to modify blood chemistry and the weight loss was a bonus side effect.
    What has been the effect of your switching to the 6:1 on IGF1, cholesterol, insulin, etc. Are you getting the same benefit you did from the 5:2?

    I have just completed week 4, and have two questions:

    1) I have gone from 187.4 lbs. to 181.5. I am pleased, however, my last weigh in, from Tuesday morning to Friday morning, showed a gain of 0.9 lbs., the first gain. Should I be concerned?

    2) I am afraid this is about bowel movements. They have become irregular. Is this common?

    Bull city: Don’t worry, in the first few weeks its quite normal for the scales to go up and down a bit. This is an issue commonly raised at my forum. It seems that in the early stages a lot of water weight is lost, then you start go lose fat but regain water, so it can look as if you’ve gained but it’s just things balancing out 🙂 also breast in mind that your weight fluctuates a bit naturally and with the average loss on 5:2 being around 1lb per week, this can sometimes be masked by the body’s natural variations. Overall you’ll see the trend is downward though.
    As for the bowel movements, this had also been reported by a number of other users on another site and mostly seems to work itself out with a little time. The body needs a while to adjust to this new way of eating! If the problem persists however it would be wise to consult your doctor.

    Sorry, that should be ‘bear in mind’ and not what my auto correct rudely changed it to!

    Hello, Anne A – well done, you, for breaking the habit of eating sweets. It’s so encouraging to read the positive changes that various people are making, improving their health and feeling free to choose better lifestyle options.

    Anyone have tips to prevent ghastly next-day headache? I just started 5:2, love the concept and potential health benefits, have no problem with fast days at all, and feel fine – except for next morning headache! Haven’t worked out if it’s a deficiency of salt, caffeine or wine…

    Wow!!! You guys are doing so great! I applaud you all! I’ve decided I’m not going to weigh in until next month. Why? Because weight fluctuates so much with 5:2, from day to day. If you do weigh in, may I suggest wait at least a week and then always weigh in the day after a fast day, or you might be disappointed. I believe Dr. Mosley discusses this in the book.

    Judy, have you given up caffeine? That may be why you are getting headachy. We can still have caffeine. I would be a mess without my coffee. On fast days I sip it up until mid-afternoon. It really keeps me going. Dr. Mosley briefly discusses caffeine in his book – latest research has found it to be actually beneficial.

    If I had to give up my beloved coffee…I just couldn’t do it! Thank goodness this plan is not like some others that make you give up caffeine.

    Coffeeheaven (nice handle!) I still drink black tea, but since I don’t want to drink it without milk, have to count the calories on fast days – so limit it to 1 cup on those days, and drink water after that.
    Think I saw something about salt deficiency somewhere…will try miso broth next time.
    Dr M, how about a ‘side effects’ header on this site (or have I missed it)?
    Love everything else about 5:2.

    Judy, I hear you about the milk in coffee/tea…I used to put a LOT of milk in my coffee but because I drink so much of it, I just got used to drinking it black. Now I like it better black! Funny how tastes change. Do you have the Fastdiet book? I’ll go check and see if I can find anything about side effects for you.

    Judy, couldn’t find anything in the index. Maybe Dr. M will chime in.

    Hi everyone. I’ve been doing the Fast Diet for just over 2 months now, and am loving the results – lost 7lbs the first month, and 2 the second (which included a very indulgent Easter holiday – was amazed I’d lost anything as I missed a couple of Fast days). My husband’s been doing really well too. So thanks to Michael for that!

    I’m worried now though because I’ve come across some news reports suggesting the Fast Diet might actually not be good for women who aren’t obese, and that it may actually cause diabetes in some women (although details as to how this process worked weren’t forthcoming). Articles also seem to imply that it’s definitely good for men, because of how their metabolism works etc etc, but benefits for women aren’t nearly so clear cut.

    I know studies on humans following this sort of programme are only at the 5/6 year mark, but could anyone shed any light on this please? I can’t believe that having 2 days where I’m actually not eating any sugar and my pancreas is getting a rest might possibly be bad for me. I’d really like to think that these reports are no more than the usual wave of negativity any new idea generates, but as a few sources are suggesting similar things I can’t help but wonder.

    And I really don’t want to give this lifestyle up, because its working (apparently) so well for me at the moment.

    All ideas gratefully received! Thanks.

    Thanks, coffeeheaven, I do have a UK version of book (wish I’d got US version, since I have to convert everything). I’m going to try and drink much more water next fast day (Monday) and see if that’s the problem. Just thinking that, since I’m in Colorado mountains at 8,200 ft, altitude may be compounding the hydration issue. We’ll see.

    I’m only on the first week and already feel better. I kick started this by swimming more and run 3x a week between 40-80mins anyway.Let’s be honest – the diet won’t work if I over compensate on the non-fast days. Already I’m looking at this as along term life style change and if it makes me look at how I eat over all – all well and good. I LOVE food, eating out, cake and coffee but at only 5ft 1in, I know how quickly the weight goes on, especially when I visit the UK every summer and spend time with family and friends! My husband is losing faster than me and looks fab!

    Hi Michail, I have just begun the diet and have done one week of it, two fasts. After a weekend of normal eating, the 3# I had originally lost with fasting all returned. Will this be a common thing–losing and regaining after the fast day? Am I not to eat what I want, but to be careful in between fasts? Please advise, Gini

    I started the 5:2 with my husband on 3rd Feb. He’s lost 20lb and I have lost 14lb. We found very quickly that even though we ate normally on non fast days, we could not manage the portion sizes we were used to, and yes we did look at cheesecake and didn’t fancy it! Just like it says in the book.My husband has NEVER dieted or watched what he ate, not for the want of me going on at him. He now shops carefully, explains the calorific value of different foods! He’s hooked and we both now find this not a diet but a way of life. We’re experimenting with fast day foods & recipes. The recipe book to go with the 5:2 book is excellent Belts need tightening, we’re fitter, thinner, have more energy, sleep better and all the stats are going in the right direction. On we go – can’t praise this enough.

    Wonderful, louiseV – two text-book cases! I love your husband’s conversion and shopping diligence. Thanks for the really cheery start to my morning, from reading your pleasing report. Long may you both continue to enjoy all the benefits gained.

    Been on the diet for 7 weeks now. Admittedly, not very strict on the calories on fast days, I eat one evening meal, but probably miss the 600 limit now and then. I only checked weight recently and have lost 3kg over a two week period. I don’t think that’s a sustainable reduction week on week, so looking more longterm. Fasting was difficult at first but not anymore and I would advise anyone to just stick to the program and check your weight infrequently rather than every day or even week.

    Not even week, I meant every week.

    Hi Michael, I’ve been on the 5:2 diet since January, have lost about a stone and need to lose at least another. I have a chronic condition which rules out doing any exercise or even walking very much. Do you think the diet will still work for me even so? I don’t mind if progress is slow, but seem to have stalled.

    Hi – thought I’d share my experience… I’ve been doing 5:2 since Christmas although i have 600 cals on a fast day (to me 500 was just offputting and i checked my base metabolic rate and 600 is ok for me). Anyway, I did lose weight but nothing dramatic – half a stone by March (10 weeks) but i wasn’t overweight to start with and just wanted to trim a bit. Since then I’ve been doing it for maintenance and swap between 5:2 an 6:1 depending on how much I want to eat on my normal days!! BUT the biggest reason for me to do it is for health and this is what I’ve noticed:

    – I feel SO healthy it’s ridiculous. Anecdotal evidence at best, but I’ve not had any illness/cold since I started…
    – my relationship to food has changed – I enjoy my normal days so much cos I don’t feel guilty plus i’ve learned that hunger is perfectly normal and doesn’t need to be satisfied straight away. On my first fast day I realised I’d probably not been properly hungry in years!
    – I had a full body check in March and: the nurse said my cholesterol was the best she’d ever seen (2.5 total, 1.6 HDL (good) giving be 60% HDL/Total ratio when anything over 20% is ideal). My blood sugar, tryglycerides (0.84), blood pressure, liver function were all excellent. My BMI is ideal (22) and my body fat percentage is 22% (also ideal for my age – I’m 37). I’ve not had my body fat checked for about 8 years but last time it was 30% (also in the ok range but on the higher end). So I have *definitely* lost fat

    So overall – the health benefits seem amazing to me (although I have to admit that I was quite healthy before and exercise etc). People have noticed the weightloss much more than you’d think from 0.5 a stone, so I think it has been the fat that has gone…

    In terms of continued weight loss – I’m not losing, but then I genuinely eat what I want on normal days (e.g. wine, cheese, pasta, bread) and I’m not trying to. When i was, I found that exercise on my fast day (cycling to work – 40 mins each way) made a BIG difference. I think basically your body is forced to use its fat stores!

    Other notes: try different eating schedules to see what works for you. I’ve settled on first food at ~ 4pm (miso soup) and then a 300 cal meal between 8 and 9. Plus a square of dark (80%) chocolate before bed (15 cals and SO GOOD at the end of a fast day). It’s SO much easier to fast now that it was at the beginning when i found it quite stressful. Now, I don’t love it but it’s fine.

    Side effects: thankfully it’s had no effect on my menstrual cycle. THe only, quite funny, side effect is that every night after fasting, without fail, i wake up at 4am really hungry! I go straight back to sleep and then wake up in the morning feeling fine and not hungry at all… I find it quite funny now cos it’s like clockwork. Plus i dream a lot about food!!

    So – keep going, don’t stress about the weight – it will come of eventually and enjoy all the other health benefits!!

    hello from Australia 🙂 am just started last week and have bought the American version of the book and have watched the Horiizon show….I keep reading it and jumping around saying to my husband ” I found the answer, I found the answer..”

    Welcome, Jan, and may you continue to sparkle with joy and success using the 5:2 system. Have fun! Keep writing in.

    I’m now at the end of week two and am very grateful for this forum. I lost 3kgs in the first week which was great as I have been struggling to get under the 100kg mark for two months ( have lost 15kg in the last 6 months with healthy eating and exercise) and this put me at 98.7kg. But then put on 1 kg this week and was ready to throw in the towel. Feel better now reading the other posts and am hoping it will settle down into more weight (or should I say fat) loss in the next coming weeks.

    I also keep reminding myself that one of the main benefits from this is also to help fight other health problems, which scare me more than just being fat!

    At the moment on non fast days I am eating around 1500 cals (using myfitnesspal) which is what i was eating before embarking on the 5:2 ,is this slowing it down? Should I try an eat more? I also go to the gym 4 days a week (both fast days and non fast days) and on average burn 400 – 500 cals on those days with exercise.

    Thanks to anyone who answers my questions!

    Hi aussieamanda, I’m vicki from Hobart. If you are seriously exercising you will put on muscle and its heavier than fat. I had 5 or 6 weeks where I either put on a few hundred grams or only lost a tiny bit, but now much firmer. I’ve lost 10.8kg in 15 weeks and don’t eat at all on fast days (its easier than eating a little, which makes me THINK I am hungry), also cholesterol and triglycerides have crashed. And I find its better to do the exercise on an empty stomach and burn fat. Good luck. This program is for life, I can’t see myself not fasting in some form.

    Thanks Vicki, I have an idea that I was eating far too much on the non fasting days even though I was tracking. I think the “you can eat whatever you want” on non fasting days is more directed to people who are only a bit over weight not those who have 30+ kilos to lose and have bad eating habits like I do. I think if you are going to eat whatever you have to do the alternate day fasting to make up for it. And I am not willing to do that so I will make sure what I eat on non fasting days is calorie controlled. I also find exercising on an empty stomach much better as I used to feel ill afterwards when I had eaten before hand.

    Yes this is for life for me as well, as I have watched how Alzheimer’s sucked the life out of my grandfather and it scares me that I am at risk as it is in my family so anything I can do to delay it or god willing prevent it I will do my best to follow.


    I have been fasting or two weeks now.enjoyed reading all the above comments and also 5:2 forum.i have a question about the nonfat days.
    I only have a a few kilos to loose and was inspired by the fact that Mimi lost weight on this diet as I have tried everything..
    But ,I really don’t want to count calories on nonfast days,from reading the book I was lead to believe that it’s about fasting two days and eating normally o the other days
    I am very small so only need around 1000 cals a day which is nothing
    I just don’t want to be obsessing every day.
    Is this just another diet …cutting calories or is there something else here( about fasting ,then feeding the body )that is what I thouight when I read the book.

    Hi Amanda, “whatever you want” I think means variety, not quantity. I have kept a diary since I started 15 weeks ago and that helps focus the mind. I don’t count calories at all, and I still drink wine every (non fast) day. That was one reason I have never stuck to a diet, not prepared to give up wine and cheese (and the occasional half piece of caramel souffle cake). But I have stopped nibbling when cooking (amazing how much those bits of cheese, proscuitto etc are) and with only having water on fast days I now have 2 alcohol free days a week. Also with swimming 5 days a week (at 7.30am) I actually fast on those 5 days from the night before till lunch, then on 2 of those days also don’t eat after a light lunch. Some people report light headedness and feeling faint but I haven’t had any of that. I started at 90kg and now 80, aiming for 65. Have you had a bloodtest for cholesterol & tryglicerides, even more than the weight loss to drop 1.3 cholesterol was a great feeling. Keep at it and lets compare in another 15 weeks!

    I have survived my first fast day without fainting in the supermarket 🙂 Just wondering what to eat tomorrow. 2000 or my TDEE (1400). I am (and have been for ages)at the top end of my BMI so don’t have a lot to lose. I think I have trouble losing weight because I have messed up my body by eating too few calories for too long.

    Well done, sarahsocks, for surviving. Can you say a bit more about being ‘at the top end’ of your BMI so you ‘don’t have a lot to lose’ as I can’t follow what you mean by that?
    If you trust your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) calculations, it would suggest that 1400cals is your appropriate intake on non-fast days with 350cals being the figure for your fast days. If you find those reduced figures do-able long-term, then all well and good. If not, then I would suggest you experiment to find what figures you can happily manage and see if you get the results you desire. However, your comment about messing up your body ‘by eating too few calories for too long’ bothers me somewhat in this connection. Can you, perhaps, give more details about the statistics involved in your calculations in order to double-check the figures?

    Has anybody experienced constipation during the process?
    If so …..share !!!!!



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